Summary Richard Wagner. The Gold of the Rhine

Summary Richard Wagner. The Gold of the Rhine

GOLD OF RHINE

The prelude of the tetralogy “The Ring of the Nibelung”, in four scenes

R. Wagner’s libretto

Characters:

Daughters of the Rhine (mermaids):

Voglinda

Velgunda

Floschild

Soprano

Soprano

Mezzo soprano

Nibelungs (dwarfs):

Alberich

Mime, his brother

Bass

Tenor

Giants:

Fazolt

Fafner, his brother

Bass

Bass

Gods:

Wotan, the supreme god

Frika, Wotan’s

wife

Freya, the goddess of youth, her sister

Fro, the god of light, her brother

Donner, the god of thunder, her brother

Loge, fire god

Erda, the goddess of fate

Bass

Mezzo soprano

Soprano

Tenor

Bass

Tenor

Mezzo soprano

The Nibelungs.

The action takes place in the depths of the Rhine, on the mountain heights and in the underworld of the Nibelungen in fairy-tale times.

PLOT

Slowly flowing mighty Raine. In the waves it is played by mermaids – playful and carefree daughters of the Rhine. They keep a golden treasure resting on the bottom of the river. And in the crevices of the rocks, underground, dwarf Nibelungs, skilled blacksmiths nest. One of them, Alberich, tries in vain to achieve the love of mermaids: Raine’s daughter slips out of his hands, mocking his awkwardness and disgrace. From their gay chatter, Alberich learns the secret of the treasure: the one who is scooping from the gold of the Rhine ring will become the lord of the world, the owner of untold riches. However, it is not easy to shackle the ring: you need to renounce the best of human feelings – love. Alberich curses love – the gold of the Rhine is in his hands.

In the inaccessible mountain heights,

the proud palace of the gods – Valhalla – ascended to heaven: no enemies are terrible to Wotan, the supreme sovereign of the gods. Valhalla was built by strong, but simple-hearted brothers-giants Fazolt and Fafner. Wotan concluded an agreement with them, he swore that he would give Freyu, the goddess of youth, as a reward for the work, who keeps the wonderful golden apples that give the gods eternal youth. However, having received an impregnable fortress, Wotan is not in a hurry to part with Freya. The reproaches of his wife – the goddess Fricky, Freya’s sisters, the wrath of her brothers – the young Fro and the militant Donner, the god of thunder – strengthen Wotan in this decision. God of fire Loge – flexible and unfaithful, like a flame that once delivered to the gods an insidious advice on the agreement with the giants, – tells about the gold of the Rhine. And the thirst for wealth takes possession of the gods. But the giants also agree to abandon Freya, If Wotan gives them the treasures of the Nibelungen. In the meantime, they take Freya as collateral. Immediately the gods lose their power – in an instant they become old and decrepit. Only Loge is still cheerful and mocking. Then Votan decides: he will get gold from Alberich to redeem Freyja. In the company of Loge, he goes to the underworld of the Nibelungen.

Already from afar, the hammers’ beats on the anvil are heard, the flames of the forge horns are visible, the cries and groans of the Nibelungen are heard. They day and night are weaving wealth to Alberich, who enslaved them by the power of the golden ring. Now he dreams of conquering the whole world. The cowardly, ever-complaining brother of Alberich Mimee tied him a wonderful golden helmet: he who owns it can take on any shape and even become invisible. Loge, having found out about this from Mime, starts a cunning conversation with Alberich, and when the nibelung, wearing a helmet, turns into a small toad, the gods grab and bind him.

As a ransom, Votan requires gold. Alberich gives everything that the dwarfs stitched and gives the invisibility helmet, but when Votan tears off the magic ring from his finger, the nibelung utters a terrible curse: from now on, everyone who owns the ring will bring misery and death. Wotan only laughs at the angry impotence of the dwarf – now power and wealth are in his hands. However, gold must be paid with the giants. They want to get so much gold to cover Freya from head to foot. The treasures of the Nibelungen are not enough, and Votan throws an invisible helmet over the golden pile. Fazolt, in love with Freyja, can not part with her; he claims that the gaze of the goddess is still visible in the gap; giants require a golden ring. Wotan refuses, and the entreaties of frightened gods can not shake his decisions. Only the terrible prophecy of the goddess Erda, suddenly appears from the depths of the earth, makes Wotan give the ring to the giants. And immediately the damnation of the Nibelung comes true: because of gold a quarrel breaks out, and Fafner kills his brother with a heavy club. Horror embraces the gods; in their bright world came murder and death. The god of thunder Donner collects clouds, a storm breaks, and in the cleared sky a rainbow is strewn – a multicolored bridge over which the gods solemnly march to Valhalla. The triumph of Wotan can not confuse neither the grievous complaints of the deceived daughters of the Rhine, nor the sarcastic ridicule of Loge – Wotan is full of his omnipotence and power. The god of thunder Donner collects clouds, a storm breaks, and in the cleared sky a rainbow is strewn – a multicolored bridge over which the gods solemnly march to Valhalla. The triumph of Wotan can not confuse neither the grievous complaints of the deceived daughters of the Rhine, nor the sarcastic ridicule of Loge – Wotan is full of his omnipotence and power. The god of thunder Donner collects clouds, a storm breaks, and in the cleared sky a rainbow is strewn – a multicolored bridge over which the gods solemnly march to Valhalla. The triumph of Wotan can not confuse neither the grievous complaints of the deceived daughters of the Rhine, nor the sarcastic ridicule of Loge – Wotan is full of his omnipotence and power.


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Summary Richard Wagner. The Gold of the Rhine